Southend United vs Cheltenham Town...
Southend United are back at Roots Hall this Saturday looking to secure their first win of the season as they welcome Cheltenham Town to Essex.
Blues were seconds away from three points last time out against Exeter and boss Mark Molesley wants his side to use that frustration to ‘fuel their fire’ ahead of a busy week.
With back-to-back away trips to come against Salford and Tranmere, Southend will want to make the most of home advantage against Michael Duff’s Robins.
Blues are without a win from their opening five games of the season, but week-on-week have shown improved performances which have earnt them successive draws against Crawley and Exeter.
The 1-1 draw at Crawley was enough for Southend to get off the mark for the season before they were cruelly denied a first win of the campaign against the Grecians thanks to a late, late strike.
Cheltenham had been in good form with three league wins and three clean sheets in a row before their midweek defeat at home to Grimsby Town on Tuesday.
Tuesday 10th February 2015
Southend United 2-0 Cheltenham Town
Pigott 9’, 34
A first-half brace from Joe Pigott earned Blues a 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town when these sides last met, extending Southend’s unbeaten run to 10 matches.
Pigott fired in from close range inside 10 minutes to give Blues the lead before doubling their advantage after getting on the end of a Ben Coker free-kick to head in a second.
From The Boss
"Upon reflection [of last week] there were plenty of positives. I think we can see we're making steps forward and getting better.
"We've got to make sure we use that as a platform and a foundation to keep building on. We need to keep making sure we're better, keep working hard and believing in ourselves.
"This league throws out a tough challenge every week whoever you're playing.
"Cheltenham went very close to getting promoted last year and have got a very good group of players. From our own research and analysis they're one of the strongest teams in the league, so we've got to be ready for that challenge.
"We have to be able to win games in multiple ways ourselves and deal with multiple threats from them."
Blues Team News
Southend will be boosted by the return of Elvis Bwomono this weekend who returns from international duty after attending a training camp with the Ugandan national team.
Fellow defender John White is back in training, as is midfielder Alan McCormack, though both aren’t expected to feature this weekend as they continue to regain their fitness.
Simeon Akinola is another that needs a little more time thanks to a persistent injury preventing him from making his Blues debut, but Brandon Goodship should be fit after limping off last weekend.
Andy Williams has been rolling back the years for Cheltenham this season and is certainly the one Blues should be looking out for this weekend.
The experienced striker helped steer Northampton to play-off victory last season, scoring in the final against Exeter at Wembley, and he has been in fine form since joining The Robins in the summer.
Williams has scored in three of his last four matches for this weekend’s visitors, with goals against Tranmere, Crawley and Grimsby under his belt.
James Oldham is the referee in charge of proceedings this Saturday. Paul Kelly and Michael Webb will be his two assistants while Joseph Stokes slots in as the fourth official.
Last season was Oldham’s first in the Football League and this weekend will be the third time he’s taken charge of Blues having officiated both matches against Bristol Rovers last campaign.
That 3-1 win against Rovers back in March was Southend’s last match before the season was curtailed and also their last league win, so maybe a good omen for tomorrow afternoon?
With fans still unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tomorrow’s clash with Cheltenham by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
The Match Pass allows you to catch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device and Season Card holders have been sent their unique access codes.